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WA Infrastructure Strategy Submission

Consult Australia has provided a written submission to Infrastructure WA on their inaugural State Infrastructure Strategy. The draft Strategy which has just completed 8 weeks of consultation sets out the infrastructure plan for Western Australia for the next 20 years. 

Consult Australia has been active across a range of engagement activities with IWA including being involved in their Industry Stakeholder Reference Group and participating in a number of dedicated sessions throughout the consultation on the draft strategy. Our feedback also highlights the work that we have been doing across Australia in advocating on our members behalf in a range of programs to improve infrastructure planning and the operating environment.

We will wait to see the final document that is released to the WA government in the next few months and will continue to advocate on behalf of our members to ensure that the WA government commits to recommendations important to our members including for further reforms and improvements in government procurement practices.

20 September 2021 

#procurement #pipeline #practice #people



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Share your views on proposed changes

Provide your feedback on proposed changes to Class 1 DTS Elemental and Condensation provisions

The Property Council and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council are seeking feedback on proposed changes to Class 1 DTS Elemental and Condensation provisions. 

Feedback is encouraged through this survey focusing on targeted questions which closes on 5 October COB.

Seeking your views on revision of AS2159-2009

Do you work with AS2159-2009, the Australian Standard for Piling - Design and Installation? Please share your views on the proposal to review the standard by completing this survey from the Australian Geomechanics Society. There is a view that the Standard could be updated to reflect some issues with its implementation, advances in technology and practice changes since 2009. The survey is seeking feedback to guide the direction of the potential revisions to AS2159-2009.

To complete the survey, click this link: AS2159 Code Committee Survey Link

Survey closes COB Friday 1 October 2021.

20 September 2021 

#procurement #pipeline #practice #people



building-construction

Staged lodgement set to continue under NSW Design and Building Practitioner Scheme

The NSW Government will extend staged lodgement of declared designs under the Design and Building Practitioner scheme until 30 June 2023.

The amendment to the current transitional period (currently due to end 30 June 2022) is intended to provide more time to evaluate the impact of the Design and Building Practitioner scheme on industry's performance and, in relation to staging specifically, to determine whether restrictions are needed to ensure the delivery of complaint building projects.

The effect of this amendment is that all projects which commence before 30 June 2023 will be able to lodge declared designs for building elements and performance solutions that are captured under each construction certificate or complying development certificate for the life of that project.

The extension of the transition period does not change the obligation for all building elements and performance solutions to have upfront design prepared by registered design practitioners and for those designs to integrate with designs by other registered practitioners.

15 September 2021 

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Construction Supplier Register - Change to Prequalification Criteria for Engineers

Consult Australia has secured changes to the Construction Supplier Register (CSR) after tireless advocacy on the issue. These changes are in light of the Professional Engineers Registration Act (PER) being introduced. Instead of requiring registered practitioners to hold a position on a company board, now the company secretary/director must sign a deed poll which acknowledges that the company is committed to and complies with the provisions of PER Act when providing construction services to the Victorian Government. 

These changes will ensure those already registered can maintain registration and make the process simpler for anyone who wishes to become prequalified. Formal correspondence will be forwarded to all organisations currently on the register in the coming days.

13 September 2021 

#procurement #pipeline #practice #people



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Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Act 2021

In response to the Respect@Work report, the Commonwealth Government has passed legislative amendments in the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Act 2021.

Key changes or clarifications that may impact member businesses include:

  • harassing a person on the basis of sex is prohibited under the Sex Discrimination Act
  • a complaint of victimisation can be considered as either a civil or criminal matter 
  • the timeframe for which a complaint can be made to the Australian Human Rights Commission is extended from 6 to 24 months
  • the Fair Work Commission may make orders to stop sexual harassment in the workplace
  • sexual harassment can be a valid reason for dismissal under the Fair Work Act
  • compassionate leave is extended for employees, or their spouse or de factor partner, for miscarriages 

13 September 2021 

#people



infrastructure-construction

NSW Infrastructure Pipeline update

Infrastructure NSW have responded to industry calls for transparent future pipelines and have updated the NSW Major Projects Infrastructure Pipeline to reflect relevant projects for in the 2021-22 Budget. The NSW major projects infrastructure plan provides a forward view of infrastructure under development by the NSW Government with a minimum capital value of over $50 million. 

7 September 2021 

#procurement #pipeline 



Contract

NEW contract checklist & contractual indemnities client briefing

We have developed a contract checklist to help members identify terms of concern in contracts. The checklist provides an overview of the top issues we see across industry and references standard contracts that align with Consult Australia's position. The checklist is a great way to start an internal contract review, and can be used to identify and refer contracting terms of concern to Consult Australia for advocacy.

We have also developed a contractual indemnities client briefing for members to provide to their clients, to assist in knowledge sharing between the parties. 

Visit our business services page to access these resources. 

6 September 2021 

#procurement 



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COVID-19 Updates

Vaccinations

The Federal Government has announced a no fault COVID-19 indemnity scheme following extensive consultation. The scheme will provide a safety net for anyone seriously affected by a COVID-19 vaccination. The process for compensation will be administered by Services Australia and the TGA will provide guidance on recognised adverse reactions. From the 6 September 2021 Australians who suffer injury and loss of income due to their COVID-19 vaccination can register their intent to claim here. For further information visit health.gov.au

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has developed a guide for employers on COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace. Visit our COVID-19 page to access a copy of the guide.

NSW

Businesses with people moving in and out of the LGAs of concern in NSW need to ensure their people have and carry a permit from 28 August. This includes authorised workers leaving LGAs of concern for work as well as anyone entering a LGA of concern for work. Also, anyone travelling more than 50km for work from Greater Sydney to regional NSW must carry a permit.

To obtain a worker permit you must register your travel through the Services NSW website here. Once you have registered your details you will receive an email confirmation - this is your permit. You must carry your permit with you at all times and permits are valid for 14 days. For further information visit: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-your-travel-within-nsw

Victoria

Authorised workers must have a permit when attending a worksite. For more detail on who is an authorised worker, an authorised provider, and how to access a permit click here.

ACT

The ACT government has agreed to lift the construction pause and has released COVID-19 requirements for construction. Please note that professional services (such as architectural and engineering services) are permitted, either on site, at the sector office or in the head office, to the extent necessary to facilitate the permitted construction activities. Remembering that COVIDSafe Plans and the like need to be in place.

      6 September 2021 

      #people


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      Infrastructure Australia Landmark reform agenda released

      Consult Australia welcomes the launch of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan, which includes a landmark reform agenda to ensure successful delivery of Australia's future infrastructure needs. We are proud to have been listed in the Plan as an agent of change in driving industry productivity and innovation, having had the opportunity to provide extensive engagement in the development of this chapter. 

      Thank you to all our members that have shaped our policy and advocacy campaigns through our forums, committees, roundtables and working groups. We are pleased to see this work come together and be reflected in the recommendations of the Plan.

      Click here for further detail on our advocacy highlights.

      3 September 2021

      #people #pipeline #procurement #practice 

       

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      advocacy wins on Skilled Migration

      The Final Report of the Inquiry into Australia's Skilled Migration Program has been released and supports the majority of the recommendations made by Consult Australia. This includes our recommendations to increase the age thresholds, reduce the complexity of the program, streamline skills lists and to rethink the levy process. 

      The purpose of the Inquiry was to identify ways to coordinate and streamline Australia's skilled migration program to increase effectiveness, competitiveness, and accessibility.  Further detail on the success of our advocacy is available here. Remind yourself of our submissions here (part 1 and part 2). We have now written to the government seeking their endorsement and implementation of the Report's recommendations.  

      2 September 2021 

      #people



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      Advocacy with the ACCC

      Consult Australia recently hosted an SME Open Forum with Mick Keogh, Deputy Chair of the ACCC where members had the opportunity to engage directly on key areas of concern. Issues covered included unfair contract terms and the use of the Australian Consumer Law (including misleading and deceptive conduct) against consultants. The ACCC also provided information on the new class exemption for collective bargaining to allow eligible small business to collectively bargain without breaching competition laws. We have continued our engagement with the ACCC, however noting that many of the issues raised cannot be addressed without law reform. Consult Australia will therefore continue to advocate for change with relevant Ministers and Departments. 

      2 September 2021

      #practice #procurement

      NSW

      NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Building Reforms

      In response to the NSW Parliament's Further Inquiry into the Regulation of Building Standards we made a written submission. We advocated for members who are struggling with the implementation and impacts of the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) and related Regulation. We noted the significant issues related to insurance, including the broadly drafted retrospective duty of care and the onerous insurance obligations for practitioners. We also noted the significant cost burden of registration under the scheme, which appears considerably higher than in other jurisdictions. You can read our submission here.

      2 September 2021

      #nsw #practice

      Mental Health Resources

      Consult Australia Mental Health Knowledge Hub
      Consult Australia’s ‘Mental Health Knowledge Hub’ is a one-stop shop for resources to help member firms to create mentally healthy workplaces. We have updated our business guide on Domestic and Family Abuse, expanding on our original work developed in 2020 which was in response to COVID-19 impacts and the recognition of increased risks from a change in working environment from public health restrictions. The business guide seeks to raise awareness about domestic and family abuse (DFA) concerns and provides guidance on recognising signs and responding to concerns. Visit our Mental Health Knowledge Hub to access this guide and more. If you have any feedback on further guides that could help support your business please do not hesitate to get in touch with Teone

      Small Business Support
      Beyond Blue has developed NewAccess for Small Business Owners, a free mental health coaching program for sole traders and small business owners, to give them the support they need to manage stress and get back to feeling like themselves. It is normal to feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed during these challenging times, and it can help to talk things through. The program is available nationally by phone or video call.

      Visit beyondblue.org.au/newaccess-SBO for more information or to enquire today.

      23 August 2021 

      #people



      computers

      Defence Estate Policy Webinars

      After the success of its 2020 program of webinars, Defence Estate are doing it again in 2021. Find out what policies and projects are steering the Estate Governance and Integrity System (EGIS). Check the Estate Webinar site which is updated regularly, with weekly webinars and recordings of past events. 

      23 August 2021

      #procurement #practice #pipeline

      cement-building

      Proposal for new Australian standard on basement and below ground walls

      Standards Australia is seeking feedback on a proposal to develop a new standard on the construction and treatment of basement and below ground walls. The aim is to ensure that any clarifications in the National Construction Code on deemed-to-satisfy (DTS) solutions for basement walls and waterproofing are supplemented by an Australian Standard. If you have a view on the proposal, would like more information and/or would like to be Consult Australia's representative on the related technical committee to help develop the standard, please contact Kristy as soon as possible. 

      13 August 2021 

      #practice #procurement #people #pipeline


      building-construction

      QLD - Infrastructure governance update

      Following the integration of Building Queensland into the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, the Queensland Government has released its infrastructure proposal development policy. The policy sets of the arrangements for planning and assessing major infrastructure in Queensland. Please see the government website for further information and contact Kristine if you have any questions. 

      13 August 2021

      #qld #people #pipeline  #practice #procurement

      United industry voice to federal inquiry on procurement reform

      Consult Australia has united with other industry bodies to call on the Commonwealth Government of the urgent need for procurement reform. 

      This included the Australian Constructors Association, Roads Australia, and Engineers Australia.

      In our joint letter to the Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities, we called for reforms that will drive an improved industry culture, create increased capacity/capability, and ensure that project commercial frameworks are equitable and align in the interests of all parties.

      We have taken a deeper dive and suggested improvements to problematic procurement practices and capacity constraints in our submission to the Federal Inquiry into procurement practices for government-funded infrastructure

      2 August 2021 

      #practice #procurement



      NSW & VIC engineering registration

      From 1 July 2021 certain engineers and design practitioners will need to be registered in NSW and VIC. The Consult Australia team is here to help your business understand the obligations. 

      NSW

      Consult Australia has jointly developed with Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Architects the Guide for Design Practitioners and Engineers – a practical resource on the key issues related to contracts, insurance and obligations under the Design and Building Practitioner Act 2020 (NSW). This guide is supported by the NSW Government, with copies available from the Construct NSW website. We take this opportunity to thank Colin Biggers & Paisley for reviewing the guide.

      The NSW Government recently released 5 things you may not know about the Design & Building Practitioners Act - including the impact on remedial works and temporary structures.

      Remember that the presentation by Matt Press, Director of the Office of the Building Commissioner is available. This comprehensive presentation covered registration, usage of the ePlanning Portal, the ‘educational’ approach of Fair Trading in the first 3-6 months and the move to digital assurance.

      Check the NSW Fair Trading site for the latest information on the scheme. 

      Victoria

      We have prepared a Business Guide (under 'law and ethics') for members providing an overview of the VIC scheme. 

      The Business Licencing Authority has approved assessment schemes for the Victorian Professional Engineers Registration scheme to be administered by the following assessment entities: Engineers AustraliaIPWEA, and Professionals Australia.  

      If you need further assistance on the NSW scheme please contact Alison,  or for the VIC scheme, please contact Cindy

      2 August 2021

      #practice #vic #nsw


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      Submission to ABS on emerging occupations

      Our submission to the ABS Australian and New Zealand Standard Classifications of Occupations targeted review recommends occupations that can be captured as emerging occupations, as well as occupations that should be prioritised in the next targeted update. If you wish to discuss further please get in contact with Cindy

      2 August 2021

      #people

      finance-stat

      Submission to Insurance Council of Australia consultation

      We made a submission in response to the ICA’s Role of the Private Insurance Market – Independent Strategic Review: Commercial Insurance Consultation Paper. We called on the ICA to join us to advocate for government action to de-risk the market and provided some of our solutions, including reforms to the civil liability legislation and the Australian Consumer Law. 

      2 August 2021

      #procurement

      We secured priority visa processing for engineering disciplines

      As a result of our advocacy, the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) has been updated to include the occupations identified in our 2020 skills shortages survey results report. Read our recent letter to the Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skill, Small and Family Business, and the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs.

      The recent occupational inclusions for priority visa processing includes:
      Electrical Engineer (233311)
      Civil Engineer (233211)
      Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
      Structural Engineer (233214)
      Surveyor (232212) and
      Transport Engineer (233215)

      7 July 2021

      #people

      Australia pins

      STAY INFORMED

      Don't forget to stay informed of the latest priorities and opportunities to participate in our roundtables and working groups.

      #people #pipeline #practice #procurement